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In Her Bones


In Her Bones

Edie Beckett was in her early teens when her mother, Lilith Wade, started a killing spree. When Edie was 15, Lilith was arrested for murdering six women. She received the death penalty and is now awaiting execution.

The last 15 years have been anything but easy for Edie, who is now 30. She barely finished high school, dropped out of community college, and has become an alcoholic. When the story opens, though, Edie has quit drinking. She is working as a city employee, lives in a small apartment, and has an unusual and unhealthy codependent relationship with her brother. She tries to live as quietly as possible, especially after the unauthorized biography of her mother gets published.

However, Edie is obsessed with the families of Lilith’s victims and engages in stalking them, becoming familiar with their daily routines and secrets. She keeps her distance from them until one day when she gets closer to the husband of one of the victims. For no particular reason, she decides to approach him --- and proceeds to cross the line. After a passionate night, the man is found dead. Suddenly, Edie becomes the prime suspect.

"...a masterfully crafted, multilayered novel that deals primarily with family dynamics, the consequences of dysfunctionality and childhood trauma.... IN HER BONES is complex, honest and heartbreaking."

The lead investigator, Detective Gil Brandt, is the same person who put Lilith in prison. Gil and Edie have a special connection, and he is torn between the need to find her and the urge to protect her. While Gil is trying to locate her, Edie is forced to hide, clear her name, find the murderer, and resolve a few other connected mysteries along the way. Over the course of 10 very intense days, Edie’s life will change forever. There will be some revelations, but she also will have to learn to open up to someone she cares about so she can save both their lives.

IN HER BONES grabbed me from the very beginning. It is a masterfully crafted, multilayered novel that deals primarily with family dynamics, the consequences of dysfunctionality and childhood trauma. It is also a story of resilience that tries to answer the question of how much we are determined by our DNA versus our upbringing. The focus is placed on Edie, her internal and external struggles, memories of her complex relationship with her mother, and the search for a killer.

Although told mostly from Edie’s perspective, the narrative alternates with Gil’s point of view and extracts from Lilith's unauthorized biography. Author Kate Moretti manages to cover all the angles, making the story deep and dynamic. At first, I found Edie to be too obsessive to like, but as the book progressed, I started rooting for her. She deserves a better, happier life away from the shadow of her mother.

IN HER BONES is complex, honest and heartbreaking. It is much more than merely a mystery and is well worth reading.

Reviewed by Dunja Bonacci Skenderović on September 21, 2018

In Her Bones
by Kate Moretti